Virus Of Hate

People attend a candlelight vigil called "Stop Asian Hate" at Almansor Park in Alhambra, Calif., Saturday night, March 20, 2021.
Damian Dovarganes / Associated Press

Police have not said whether the killing of eight people in Atlanta, including six Asian women, was a hate crime. Still, the shooting is troubling many Asian Americans and Pacific Islanders. Especially women, who reported nearly 70% of hate incidents against the community since the pandemic, according to researchers at STOP AAPI HATE.

Courtesy of Christine Choy

The coronavirus pandemic has amplified issues of race and inequality in the United States. Thousands have marched for Black Lives Matter. Data has shown that Black and Latino communities are disproportionately hurt by COVID-19. But it was the Asian American community that first felt targeted by a virus of hate. 

Jeff Chiu / AP

Most people think of the bubonic plague as the disease that killed a third of Europe’s population back in the Middle Ages.

“The plague never really went away,” says David Randall, a reporter and author of the history book, "Black Death at the Golden Gate." 

Keteo Rajachack owns the Lao and Thai restaurant, Pho Ketkeo, in downtown New Haven. She poses at her storefront, where she and an employee had their cars vandalized in April.
Courtesy of Christine Son

The World Health Organization officially gave COVID-19 its name in February. Before anyone knew what to call it, some U.S. politicians and journalists dubbed it “the Chinese virus” or “Wuhan Coronavirus,” referring to the city that saw the first cases.